Female-led search and staffing agency CannabizTeam has released its first annual report giving cannabis employers and job seekers an insight into the top cities in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
The 1st year Salary Guide for the Tri-State 2022 Cannabis Industry—a comprehensive report featuring single- and multi-state cannabis employers and potential employees, from novices to C-suite executives — was released Sept. 15.
CannabizTeam’s data predicts more than 100,000 cannabis jobs in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut by 2025. CannabizTeam estimates New York could add 63,000 jobs to the industry, New Jersey 29,400 and Connecticut 10,500.
On March 31, 2021, New York legalized adult cannabis with the passage of the Marijuana Regulation & Taxation Act (MRTA), and business is good. Cannabis career fairs are popping up in places like Rochester and Albany.
The guide shows cannabis job features, salary ranges, and why some cannabis businesses rely on temporary workers instead of full-time.
“I think many of our customers have learned a lot from what happened on the West Coast,” said CannabizTeam CEO and Founder Liesl Bernard. “And thankfully, they’ve had the benefit of that experience, so I think the Tri-State area probably has more chance than any other state to do better than what’s happened on the West Coast.”
The CannabizTeam Direct and CannabizTeam On-Demand divisions have staffing offices in Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Phoenix and San Diego. California’s huge market is old news, Bernard says, while all eyes are now on places like New York or New Jersey.
In industry too, a general dependence on temporary positions continues to prevail. “From a hiring perspective, I think companies are realizing that they’re going to have to be proactive, and many companies are now working on or looking at temporary workers that appear to be on a temp rather than hiring right away, to hire quickly,” he says. Bernard. “So flexible staffing and on-demand, staffing has definitely become more of a trend in the cannabis industry.”
Managerial positions are also increasing rapidly. The highest median C-Suite salary for a Chief Financial Officer is $351,000 while the highest median salary for a Chief Operations Officer is $294,500
“Wages in the cannabis industry are clearly rising and are increasingly aligning with other industries in the area,” says Bernard. “CEO salaries are on average right around 350k, which is comparable to other industries. CFOs are also around 300k. So, compared to where we were six years ago when I started the CannabizTeam staffing agency, salaries were much lower in the cannabis industry, but now to attract the right talent, companies pay market value for similar positions in other industries. ”
Transferable skills are key
Transferable skills are proving very valuable in the cannabis industry.
“Hopefully it still draws talent from pharmaceuticals, consumer packaged goods, food manufacturing and big agriculture,” Bernard added. “Because the industry is still very new, it’s really only six or seven years old.”
Across the country, the cannabis industry still has to pull out of other industries to find the right talent. “While the industry continues to expand on the East Coast, the East Coast now has the luxury of being able to recruit a few people with cannabis industry experience who might be three or four years, you know, on the West Coast or Colorado, etc.”
Bernard says there is now a mix between people who have experience with cannabis and who are looking to take their second career step in the industry.
CannabizTeam pulls data from a variety of sources, with a staff ready to begin setting up deployments in the Tristate area as companies prepare to launch operations. However, the greatest opportunities are found in New York. The New York Governor’s executive budget estimates more than $1.25 billion in cannabis tax revenue over the next six years.
“New York is expected to be even bigger than the California market,” says Bernard. “It will be the largest international cannabis market. So we’re really gearing up to create about 100,000 jobs in just those three states in the next few years.”
Bernard has seen the industry turn into a mature market and she knows what to expect in newer markets in the tri-state area.
“Six years ago, when I started the company,” Bernard says, “I think people were hesitant to get into the cannabis industry. I think there was still a lot of stigma attached to it and people were nervous to leave their full-time jobs. quit accounting or the law or manufacturing to jump into industry, where today it’s the exact opposite.”